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Hill Station Of Maharashtra


Mahabaleshwar was the summer capital of the erstwhile Bombay presidency. A popular town, with an air of unspoilt beauty, it meanders leisurely for 5 kms at an altitude of 1372 m. You can while away the hours boating or fishing at the placid Venna Lake or explore the walks or the thirty points that offer panoramic views of the valley and the sea.

The crystal waters of the numerous waterfalls are delight to bathe in. The adventurous could trek down to Pratapgarh Fort, 24 kms away where Shivaji dramatically bested General Afsal Khan. You could just roam through the tiny lanes of the bazaar, shopping for everything from shoes to luscious strawberries,blackberries,jams and jellies.

Akloli - Ganeshpuri
(Akoli. District Thane 431 204. STD Code - 022913)

Ideal for a Sojourn.

Places to See
The Hot springs, Nityanand Ashram, Gurudev Ashram and the Vajreshwari Temple are some of the spots to see.

Getting there

By Air
Nearest Airport is Mumbai, 60 kms.

By Rail
Nearest railhead is Thane on central Railway and Vasai Road on Western Railway.

By Road
Mumbai - Akoli, 80 Kms. via Bhivandi and 88 Kms. Via Ghodbunder.

State transport buses ply from Thane, Kalyan and Vasai to Akoli


(Tal. Sawantwadi, District Sindhudurg. Tel: (02363)76239)

A charming hill resort, nestling in the Sahyadri mountains at an altitude of 690 m. Surrounded by thick forests and verdant hills and valleys. Numerous view points offer panoramic vistas of the valley. Hiranya Keshi offers hours of fun for anglers. Nagarta Falls and Narayangad are perfect for picnicking.

Getting There

By Air
Nearest Airport is Belgaum, 64 kms.

By Rail
Sawantwadi 28 kms. on Konkan. Railway is a convenient railhead.

By Road
Mumbai - Amboli is 549 kms. Pune - Amboli is 390 kms. Ratnagiri - Amboli is 215 kms.

State Transport and luxury buses run from Vengurla, Belgaum, Sawantwadi and Ratnagiri to Amboli.

Aundha - Nagnath
(Tal. Hingoli, District. Parbhani - 431705.)

A Pilgrim center of great significance, since it is considered to be the first (adya) of the 12 Jyotirlingas in the country. Apart from this honor, the temple of Nagnath has exquisite carvings.

Nanded, 64 kms. by road from Aundha, is famous for the Sach Khand Shri Hazur Sahib Gurudwara where Guru Gobind Singh's ashes are buried.

Getting There

By Air
Aurangabad, 210 kms. away is a convenient airport.

By Rail
Chondi, 21 kms, is the convenient railhead. Mumbai - Chondi, 614 Kms.

By Road
Mumbai - Aundha, 579 kms. Nagpur - Aundha 359 kms. Aurangabad - Aundha, 210 kms.

State Transport buses ply from Nanded, Parbhani, Chondi to Aundha.


(District Ratnagiri. Telephone (02352) 20963.)

Bhatye is on the outskirts of Ratnagiri town. You can camp across the bridge in MTDC's tent resort, amidst whispering casuarinas. Water sport facilities at Bhatye offer yoy some exciting options. Join the excursion to Pawas to see the Swaroopanand Swami Ashram.

Getting There

By Air
Nearest airport is Mumbai.

By Rail
Nearest railhead is Ratnagiri 6 kms. On Konkan Railway.

By Road
Mumbai - ratnagiri, 356 kms.

State transport buses ply from Mumbai, Kolhapur and Pune to Ratnagiri and also from ratnagiri to Pawas via Bhyte.


(Tal. Ambegaon, District Pune. Mumbai. Telephone 8815000, 8835577)

A major pilgrim center, Bhimashankar houses one of the five Jyotirlingas of Maharashtra. Constructed by the eminent Nana Phadnavis, the Shiv Temple has gorgeous carvings.

Other attractions at this place include the famous Mahashivratri fair, the fascinating bird and game sanctuary and of course, the pleasant climate and natural scenery.

Getting There

By Air
Nearest airport in Pune, 95 kms.

By Rail
Nearest railhead is Pune.

By Road
Mumbai - Bhimashankar, 265 kms. via pune.


(District Thane, Tal. Dahanu - 401 701, Telephone (02528) 41243.)

Towards north of Mumbai lies Bordi, a quite seaside resort fringed by casuarinas. The Dahanu-Bordi beach stretches across approximately 17 kms. The area is famous for its chikoo and other fruit orchards. You can also visit Udvada. Where the sacred flame of the Zorostrians is kept burning. Bordi is also known for its boarding schools.

Getting There

By Air
Nearest Airport is Mumbai, 145 kms

By Rail
Nearest railhead is Gholwad, 2 kms. Also accessible from Dahanu Railway station, 15 kms.

By Road
Mumbai - Bordi, 145 kms. Dahanu - Bordi, 15 kms.

State Transport buses ply between Dahanu Road and Bordi.

Lonavala & Khandala, Maharashtra

Lonavala & Khandala are two charming hill stations on the western slopes of the Sahyadris, 5 km apart, that straddle the Mumbai-Pune highway at an altitude of 625 m. The name `Lonavala' is derived from the sanskrit word `Lanavli', which means a city surrounded by many caves. Quite popular as health resorts, there are a number of sanotoria dotting the hills in both towns. Khandala is smaller and the calmer of the two. Taxis and auto-rickshaws are easily available here. The MTDC runs a resort at Karla and another at Rye Woods, Lonavala. 

Climate: Temperatures vary from 12 degree celsius to 36 degree celsius throughout the year with an annual rainfall of 450 cm.

Best time to visit: October to May is the best time to visit.

How to reach there:
Lonavala is 104 km from Mumbai and 66 km from Pune.

Air: Pune is the nearest airport, 66 km away. 

Rail: All trains from Mumbai to Pune and the South stop at Lonavala. 

Road: Mumbai is 104 km from Lonavala, the last 20 km of which wind up the ghats through gruelling switchbacks. By road, take the Bor Ghat road at Khopoli. Taxis are available from Dadar T.T Station in Mumbai. The journey takes 3-4 hours. Maharashtra State buses plying between Mumbai and Pune halt at Lonavala.

What to see:
Some entertainment:
Maharashtra Tourism provides courses in rock and fort climbing at Karla, 12 km from Lonavala.

Tourists can enjoy scenic views of the surrounding hills and in the monsoon, with a myriad waterfalls, it can be enchanting.

Tiger's Leap: A sheer 650 m drop from the tip of a cliff. The view is stunning.

Mohatta's Zoo: (7 km from Lonavala) It has rare collection of birds and monkeys from Africa and South America.

Reversing Point / Sunset Point / Tungarli Lake: The first two are reputed for the panoramic vie they offer while the latter is a manmade reservoir suited for picnickers.

Khandala is especially beautiful during the monsoons: the clouds literally envelope the entire town. Look out onto the hills and you will notice a thousand waterfalls that gush from its sides and flow into ravines below.

At Lonavala, visit the Walvan and the Bushy dams. They are usually full during the monsoons and attract hordes of tourists.

What to shop:
Wander through Lonavala's bazaar and look for Chikki and chiwda, for which the place is famous for. National Chikki Mart or Rupam or any other stores will provide you a variety of nut or seasame-seed filled chikki. Cooper's walnut and chocolate fudge and coconut burfi are another popular draw.

Around the city:
Karla Caves: About 12 km from Lonavala, on the Pune Road, are the Karla Caves. Belonging to the 2nd century B.C., they bear a striking resemblance to those at Ellora. The stupa inside the cave and the rock sculptures at the entrance are an eloquent testimony of the skill of the artisans of that time. Taxis and auto-rickshaws which are easily available in Lonavala are the best way of getting to Karla.

Bhaja Caves: It is situated 12 km from Lonavala. The 18 caves are believed to have been built bu Buddhist monks in the 2nd century B.C. Cave 12th is the largest and has a fine stilted vault. The last cave to the south has excellent sculpture, including the famous `dancing couple'.

Bedsa Caves: About 15 km from Lonavala, are the famous ancient Buddhist rock-cut caves. The `chaitya' here has 4 pillars with carving of horses, bulls, and elephants. Its ribbed roof is supported by 26 pillars. As this cave is isolated from the other two, it tends to get missed by the visitors.

Rajmachi It is situated 10 km from Lonavala. The fort here is surrounded by valleys and forests. In it are 2 smaller forts, Shrivardhan with

Matheran, Maharashtra

Matheran is an undulating hilltop cloaked in shady trees, that sprawls languidly at an altitude of 800 m. The journey involves an adventurous 2 hrs ascent in a toy train. Its 8 sq kms cover a hilltop in the Sahyadris, or Western Ghats and is the closest hill station of Mumbai. It is unique in that no motor transports is allowed within its area. Matheran's cliffs with incredibly steep drops to the plains below create stunning viewing points. These panoramic vistas, by day and night, leaves one feeling light-headed.

Best time to visit October to May is the best time to visit.

Climate An annual rainfall of 524 cms.
Summer: Temperatures veries from 32 degree Celcius in summer.

Winter: Temperatures very from 16 degree Celcius in winter.

How to reach thereMumbai is 100 kms away, Neral is 21 kms. away, Pune is 120 kms away from Matheran.  

Air: Mumbai is the nearest airport, 100 km away. 

Rail: Matheran is most easily reached by rail. Many trains leave VT for the small mainline station of Neral, from where one can connect with the narrow-gauge toy-train to Matheran. Except during the monsoon (June-September), there are several trains a day on the mountain railway which take 2 hours to cover the 20 kms climb to their destination. Stations on the way have names like Water pipe and there is also the famous One Kiss Tunnel. During the monsoon, the service is restricted to one train a day and during heavy rain even this can be cancelled due to landslides.  

Road:State Transport buses regularly ply from Mumbai and Pune. Transport in the town is restricted to ponies, foot, and hand-pulled rickshaws.

Places to see

Karsondas Mulji Library: Founded in 1897 at the far end of Mahatma Gandhi Road. A sign on the wall reads, "No one ever really paid the price of a book, only the price of printing it.

Panorama Point: 5 kms north of the post office, has the most spectacular views. Below lies Neral, to the west Mumbai and to the north are the Ghats. It's a popular place to watch the sun rise.

Monkey Point: which look down over the plains.

Porcupine Point: further to the southwest, is the popular sunset view.

Louisa Point: three kms west of the post office, is on a plateau with views of the ruined forts Prabal and Vishalgarh. One of the nearby rocks is called Lion's Head because of its supposed resemblance to one.

Echo Point: really does have an echo.

Chowk Point: 4 kms from the post office, is at the extreme southern end of Matheran. 

Rambagh: lies 2 kms away looking towards Khandala and Karjat.

Alexander Point: one km to the north, one can see Garbut Point, the Chowk valley and the Ulhas River.

Mount Barry: is one of the highest spots in Matheran, with splendid views. Between Mount Barry and Panorama Point is Governor's Hill, another viewpoint.   The Panthers' Caves and the Paymaster Park are other attractions, especially for children.

Charlotte Lake: is the main source of drinking water for the town. The lake looks splendid in the monsoon, with swirling coffee brown water, but dries up in the summer. Near the dam are some food stalls and the main Hindu temple, the Pisarnath Mandir.

What to shop

The main Mahatma Gandhi Road is lined with shops selling the famous chikki sweets and local honey. Chikki is a softer version of peanut brittle made from jaggery and there are seemingly endless varieties--peanut, sesame seed, coconut, ginger and mango. Decorative grasses are also dried locally. Another specialty is footwear. Local craftsmen will make a pair of sandals, shoes or riding boots to order in just a few days. There are walking - stick shops, snacks shops and even a video games parlour. The Kapadia market, is the main bazaar.The main bazaar offers a variety of items such as cane and leather articles, hats, chappals etc.

Panchgani, Maharashtra

        Tucked away in the Satara district of Maharashtra, Panchgani is a well known hill station of Maharashtra. It derives it's name from the five hills around it. At an altitude of 1334 mtr, it is just 38 mtr below Mahabaleshwar. These 38 mtr translate themselves into a breathtaking 18 km approach, offering breathtaking views of the river Krishna on one side and coastal plains on the other. Taxis are easily available, though bicycles (and horseback) are recommended for travelling long distances.

Summers: Temperatures vary from 35 degree celsius.

Winters: Temperatures vary from 16 degree celsius.

Best time to visit: September to May is the best time to visit this hill station.


  • Hotel Five Hills run by MTDC, is one of the finest hotels in the town.

How to reach:
Air: Pune 98 km away, is the nearest airport. 

Rail: Pune is also most convenient railhead. 

Road: Panchgani is just 18 km from Mahabaleshwar. Panchgani can be easily approached by road from Mumbai and Pune. Luxury bus services of MTDC are a regular feature from Mumbai and Pune. 

What to see:
Some entertainment: Select a horse from one of the numerous stables and and wander along uncharted routes through hidden lovers' lane, to the caves and Kamalgad Fort.

About nature: Tourists can enjoy a network of nature walks through the woods, thickly canopied by lush trees and vegetation. The river Krishna, snakes through tiny hamlets, farms and ravines, hundreds of metres below. Visit Table Land, a flat mountain peak and feast your eyes on the coastal plains, looking like miniature water colours.

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